×

Vincent Bolloré’s Company Sues France 2 TV Channel, Claims 50 Million Euros in Damages

PARIS — Vincent Bolloré, the controversial boss of Vivendi and Bolloré Group, is suing the France 2 television channel over the re-airing of an investigative documentary program on him and his Bolloré Group that he says is defamatory. Bolloré is claiming 50 million euros ($55 million) in damages.

Ironically titled “Vincent Bolloré, un ami qui vous veut du bien” (“Vincent Bolloré, a friend who’s here to help”), the program depicts the billionaire’s reportedly rough management methods at Bolloré Group and Vivendi-owned Canal Plus Group. Directed by Tristan Waleckx, Mathieu Rénier and Mikael Bozo, the documentary notably features the recording of an off-the-record meeting during which Bolloré fired several high-level executives in September.

The program initially aired on April 7 as part of a TV magazine series called Complement d’Enquete. It was rebroadcast on July 21 France 2, a channel owned by French public broadcaster France Televisions.

“This repeat showing, just a few weeks after the tendentious and totally biased program in question was first broadcast, demonstrates a proven desire to harm the Group by seriously discrediting it. This is undermining its commercial interests,” said Bolloré Group in a statement.

“In order to put an end to this insidious campaign and to protect the interests of both employees and shareholders, the Bolloré Group has summoned France 2 to appear before the Paris Commercial Court so that it can seek to obtain redress for the loss that it has suffered, which is assessed at 50 million euros,” the statement said.

The portion of the documentary that reportedly drew the most objection from Bolloré Group dealt with the work carried out by Socapalm, an industrial palm oil company owned by Bolloré Group in Cameroon. The program denounced the alleged degrading conditions for workers there.

Following the initial airing of the documentary, Bolloré said during Vivendi’s last shareholder meeting in June that one of the African workers interviewed had been paid to lie about his age and the labor conditions. However, Bolloré’s accusations were quickly denied by the host of the documentary series with more interview footage.

Meanwhile, the recorded meeting with Canal Plus underscored the iron-fisted personality of Bolloré, who can be heard telling his employees “”Oh la la, you look serious. Don’t worry, I will be very soft. (…) I’m sorry for those who won’t be part of my team. I have nothing against you, I don’t know you.”

More TV

  • A.P. BIO -- Pilot -- Pictured:

    'A.P. Bio' Revived for Forthcoming NBCUniversal Streaming Service

    “A.P Bio” has made the grade after all, with NBCUniversal reviving the comedy for its unnamed, still-unlaunched streaming service. The NBC series, which ran for two seasons before getting canceled, performed well online, according to the network, with ratings showing a long tail on streaming platforms as new viewers came to the show late. Nearly [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    'Morning Joe' Airs Archival Footage Linking Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump

    President Donald Trump told reporters recently that he hasn’t spoken to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in more than a decade and that he was “never a fan” of the one-time banking wunderkind and accused sex-trafficker. But footage aired Wednesday morning on “Morning Joe” appears to suggest some of what Trump said wasn’t accurate. The footage [...]

  • Veronica Mars -- "Spring Break Forever"

    'Veronica Mars' Team Talks Leaning Into Noir Mystery for Hulu Series

    After three seasons on broadcast television in the mid-aughts, followed by a fan-funded feature film, “Veronica Mars” is heading to Hulu with an eight-episode standalone season and, most importantly, a new mystery. “I don’t want it to be a nostalgia show,” creator Rob Thomas tells Variety. “Kristen [Bell] says she would do it until it’s [...]

  • Alicia Keyes Kyle Jarrow

    Alicia Keys, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul to Exec Produce Showtime Musical Drama

    There’s music in the air for Showtime. The premium cable network has made a series commitment to a yet-to-be-titled musical drama series executive produced by Alicia Keys, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The series, which will be produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, “traverses generations to tell an emotionally complex family story that interweaves modern-day [...]

  • ‘Eisenhorn’ Series Based on ‘Warhammer 40,000’

    ‘Eisenhorn’ Series Based on ‘Warhammer 40,000’ in the Works From Frank Spotnitz

    “Eisenhorn,” a live-action series based on the “Warhammer 40,000” game and books is in the works. “The X-Files” exec producer Frank Spotnitz will be showrunner. His shingle, Big Light, has teamed with Games Workshop, which owns “Warhammer 40,000” to develop the property. Billed as a genre-bending sci-fi and fantasy series, “Eisenhorn” is set in the [...]

  • gordon-ramsay-masterclass-review

    Gordon Ramsay and Studio Ramsay Return to WME for Representation

    Superstar TV chef Gordon Ramsay has returned to WME for representation after eight years with CAA. WME will represent Ramsay and his production company, Studio Ramsay, in all areas. Ramsay is one of the most recognizable names in the culinary world after establishing himself as a TV star in the U.K. and U.S. Studio Ramsay [...]

  • Daphne Oz leaving the chew

    Fox Renews 'MasterChef Junior,' Adds Daphne Oz as Judge

    “MasterChef Junior” will return for an eighth season with new judge Daphne Oz. Oz will replace Christina Tosi on the judges’ panel, joining chefs Gordon Ramsay and Aaron Sanchez to crown the next winner in the new season. In the upcoming season, the young contestants will cook up meals at locations including a renaissance fair [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content